Dear Opposite flat Aunty,
STOP IT! I want to scream but I want to be polite and just write bravely to you. I know you are deeply religious. I agree that it is your choice to express your love to God. But these daily two hour bhajans are getting on my nerves. Initially, I thought this is a one day phenomenon but after a few days, I realised this could be a week. I can grit through it. That’s when a friend told me that this is the festival of Hindola. It is not only alien to my Kerala sensibilities but also my Maharashtrian state base. I was informed that this will last for a month. It is generally held at a temple or an open ground. Bhajans (devotional songs) are sung for Lord Krishna by rocking his baby swing. Continue reading
At the beginning of this year, I had chosen the word ‘discover’ as the word of the year for me. One of the concepts I wanted to discover more was the Joy of minimalism. I have been consciously inculcating it in day-to-day life leading to many subtle changes. I discovered there is no joy in possessing more materials. I no longer feel the urge to rush to sales or the home decor shops. The real joy is in treasuring our relationships, our memories and our time.
I believe in using my time to make more memories. As that is what will remain with us throughout our lives. Tell me, do you feel happy when the bank sends you an SMS saying ‘Salary is credited’. Of course, you do. But, how does it compare with an SMS/Whatsapp from a friend, or that phone call from someone in the past.
“One day, your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.”
I do not want to be on my death bed to think about a cherished life. I want to think about it now. It has to be the face of my sons when I saw them for the first time, the heady days of an innocent love, the crazy outings with friends. Everything to do with a rush of emotions, a moment to treasure forever.
As we grow older, we become more practical and cynical. And we wonder will we ever feel the same heady rush of our teenage years. Our outlook on life is now tinged with our life experiences. We hear of exhausted or divorced friends who will make jokes about relationships and forward them on Whatsapp. The friends who try to look younger with each passing year, competing with their children. Friends going on fabulous vacations around the world.
But, what I really treasure are memories. Some are downright silly. On Sundays, I like to wake up before the family. I like to simply watch them sleeping peacefully. I tip-toe onto my children’s bedroom, pull the curtains closer, watch them for a while. My elder son with his one hand on the ubiquitous mobile. The younger one with the blanket covering his head. Sometimes, running my fingers on their hair. I know this will change soon, in a not too distant future. Then I tip-toe back to my bedroom to see the husband snoring away to glory with hair sticking out on the pillow. I know this will not change. It is the loveliest sight and my most treasured one.
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. Today’s prompt is to write about a treasure.
Rain is synonymous with Kerala. As a Malayalee (person from Kerala), I naturally love the monsoon rains. The title itself drew me to the book. This is not just one book. It has many books within it. The book is a mixture of 34 fictional stories, poems, non-fiction, essays, POVs from writers in Kerala, or writers writing about Kerala. Also, all the stories are not about rain.
The book starts off with the first story which tells us about where the rain is born. This short non-fiction account is taken from the book ‘Chasing the Monsoon’ written by journalist and travel-writer Alexander Frater. He recounts how he witnessed the rain being born at the southern-most tip of Kerala. He is at the Kovalam beach with a bunch of weathermen, journalists and other enthusiasts. The south-western monsoon clouds make it’s first landing here and thus the rain is born. This place Kovalam is just about 50 km from my hometown Varkala. Thus we probably see the first monsoon rains in India and never even knew about it.
Next is a short fiction by Shashi Tharoor called ‘Charlis and I’. I loved the way the author has woven the progress of the different castes through the various policies in Kerala. But still, it is a simple, heartwarming story about a few boys. His language is impeccable. On a similar vein is the story ‘A village before time’ by V K Madhavan Kutty. Continue reading